Friday, January 20, 2017

Kindergarten: Week 22

Gemma practiced "I'm a Little Teapot" on piano.

Gemma went to ballet and tap class.
We learned that this June's dance recital song will be "Rockin' Robin," and that the costumes will be red. On "Rockin' Robin," the dancers make bird wings, and on "tweet, tweet, tweet," they flap flap flap. It's adorable.

We finished Life of Fred: Ice Cream, and started Life of Fred: Jellybeans.

Gemma read more Magic Tree House independently, and told me all about a unicorn that was trapped in a tapestry.

She's been weaving a potholder (a gift from Anita & Julia) for a few weeks, and finally finished!
We took a picture of "Flat Sammy from Myanmar" at the Santa Monica pier.
At Tinker Group, they did paper marbling.
Gemma got a maze book at the beginning of the week - Maze Craze: Magician's Castle.
Just being silly - Gemma in her Tinker Group safety glasses...
We did more Pimsleur Spanish in the car, reread some Milly Molly Mandy and My Book House, read aloud various other books, went to Church Mice and Sunday School, previewed CC memory work, etc.

Finally, here are a couple of this week's drawings...





Friday, January 13, 2017

Kindergarten Week 21

Gemma is 75% done with Khan Academy's first grade math. We continued in Life of Fred: Ice Cream; we're nearing the end.

We listened to some Pimsleur Spanish in the car. I'm enjoying this program because it moves very, very slowly (which is actually one of the things people don't like about the program).

At our afterschool co-op, we learned about brains. Gemma made a neuron out of candy, and tried on a brain hat.
She practiced Old MacDonald on piano. Those eighth notes are tricky.

I came home from work one day to find Gemma on page 85 of The Magic Tree House: Blizzard of the Blue Moon (#36). She is officially an independent reader.

Here are two drawing she did this week. This is a tiger...
...and this is Gemma "with red hair" and a dress she said she would like to make for Halloween 2018. (For Halloween 2017, she said she wants to be a Khan Academy avatar.)
She went to dance class.
Also, she learned Bottom's speech from A Midsummer Night's Dream. I have had a most rare vision...



Friday, January 6, 2017

Kindergarten Week 20

A handful of the many things we did this week...

At our afterschool co-op is learning about the human body. This week, we explored the musculoskeletal system and made hands with drinking straw metacarpals and phalanges.
We also had Tinker Group. We made paper cup and string phones, read a story called The Lonely Phonebooth, and took a couple of phones apart to see what was inside.
We made a "Flat Gemma" to send to a pen pal in Myanmar. Gemma chose to color her Flat Gemma's skin purple.
We went to dance class...



Saturday, December 31, 2016

Kindergarten: Week 19

We started out the week by celebrating Christmas with family.

Here is a picture of my dad and Gemma playing Life. I took the college path and became a Secret Agent with a houseboat; Gemma did not go to college, and won the game.
This house used to be my grandmother's house, and this dining room table was her table. I have very fond memories of sitting around this table, laughing and playing board games with my dad, and I'm glad Gemma will get to have them too.

On the drive home, there was snow on the pass. There was a tiny bit of snow on the pass a few years ago, but Gemma was only a year and a half old and had no idea what it was or why my husband and I were forcing her to touch it. Recently, she's been asking to see snow, so she was excited to get out and play - in her pajamas and Crocs.
She and Daddy had a snowball fight...
We made a tiny snowman with penny eyes. Gemma was sooo cold, and sooo happy.
(Somewhere, there exists a photo of a similar snowman my parents and I made when I was a toddler.)

Then, right before getting back in the car, Gemma made a snow angel...
Grandma, Poppa, Daddy, Krystyna, Gemma, and I went to Disneyland. Gemma hasn't been since she was two, and she didn't remember having been, so it was like she was experiencing everything for the first time.

The park was 96% full, but the weather couldn't have nicer.
We all got colds this week. Gemma was in bed all day the day before Disneyland, and I was in bed all day the day after. We watched a lot of PBS Kids, played board games, and took long naps.

At the end of the week, we resumed practicing counting change for a dollar, and the concept clicked. Sometimes you just need to take a little break, and come back to a concept later.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

How to Make a Mister Seahorse Ornament

Here is a craft we made to go along with Eric Carle's book Mister Seahorse.
First, I drew an outline of a seahorse and cut it out. I used this as a template. 

I traced my template onto cardstock. For one ornament, you need two seahorses (cut out back to back because the backs will be glued together).
Next, I put the seahorses back to back and used a 1/8" hole punch to punch a hole for the cord.
My daughter and I glued one googly eye on each seahorse. (The eye goes right above the nose.)
We glued sequins all over our seahorses.
We let the sequins dry, then glued our seahorses back to back.

When the seahorses were dry, I threaded a piece of knotting cord through the hole and knotted it.
Finally, we hung our seahorse on our Christmas tree. :)

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Kindergarten Week 18: Happy Hanukkah and Merry Christmas

We started the week with a drive to the Shalom Institute for Hanukkah Family Day.

Gemma had fun feeding the alpacas and the goat...
...and doing all sorts of activities in the camp's garden...
One of her favorite things was making applesauce by pedaling a bicycle with a blender attached to it.

After lunch in the dining hall and a Hanukkah sing-a-long in the amphitheater, Gemma got harnessed up to go rock climbing. She also tried her hand at tomahawk throwing and archery...
...and dipped her own candle.
There was also cookie decorating, dreidel playing, and hanukkiot making.
It was quite the fun-filled day!

The following day, I hosted our after school co-op. The theme this month is sea creatures, so I read the book Mister Seahorse by Eric Carle. In my research about the fish mentioned in the book, I learned so many interesting facts. (Did you know that some fish are mouthbrooders and incubate their eggs by carrying them in their mouth, which means that they can't eat for a couple of weeks? Well, they don't eat on purpose.) For our snack, each child made one of these...
To make your own cookie aquarium... First, spread a dollop of blue frosting (canned buttercream frosting and blue gel food coloring) on a Pillsbury slice-and-bake sugar cookie. (Canned frosting and slice-and-bake cookies? Finally, a Pinterest pin I can do!) Then, crush a quarter of a graham cracker in a ziploc, and pour the "sand" on the  cookie ("ocean floor"). Add 3 multicolored goldfish crackers, 3 pieces of green Sour Spaghetti candy "seaweed" (this is thinner than green apple Sour Punch Straws, but those could work too), and - for bubbles - a few white candy pearls (available in a craft store's cake decorating section).

For our craft, we made Mister Seahorse ornaments...
I came up with these myself, thank you very much. While I did use Pinterest for the cookie aquariums, I'm taking all the credit for these seahorse ornaments. ;)

As is our Christmas Eve tradition, we went to my husband's parents' house...
Every year, we dress up all the children as characters from the Nativity story, and send them outside to sing "Cantos Para Pedir Posada," which is "Song Asking For Shelter." We turn them away at the back door, singing that there is no room at the inn, but when they come to the front door, we let them in. Once inside, we all sing a song of adoration to Baby Jesus, a role that goes to the family's newest member. Everyone takes a turn kissing the baby's tiny feet.

A little while later, after everyone has put away their wings and shepherd's crooks, Santa Claus arrives...
Merry Christmas!